Chuba Hubbard reaches 500 yards, approaches top-ten NFL rushing season by Canadian

Photo courtesy: NFL

The Canadian Cowboy has reached an impressive milestone in his rookie NFL season with the Carolina Panthers.

Chuba Hubbard made his seventh career start on Sunday in a 31-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills, rushing eight times for 40 yards and one catch for one yard. The performance brought him to the 500-yard rushing mark on the season, making him one of 31 running backs league-wide to reach the milestone.

The 22-year-old has been on the field for 367 offensive snaps this season, an average of 26.2 per game. His playing time increased after Christian McCaffrey missed a handful of early-season games due to a hamstring injury before sustaining a season-ending ankle injury in Week 12.

Hubbard has rushed a total of 140 times for 500 yards and four touchdowns, while also making 20 receptions for 153 yards. Unofficially, his performance is already the eleventh-best rushing season by a Canadian-born player in NFL history with three games to go.

Rueben Mayes of North Battleford, Sask. eclipsed the 500-yard rushing mark four times, recording 1,353 yards in 1986, 917 yards in 1987, 628 yards in 1988, and 510 yards in 1990. Statistically, he remains easily the top Canadian NFL running back of all-time, rushing 866 times for 3,484 yards and 23 touchdowns with New Orleans and Seattle.

Bronko Nagurski of Rainy River, Ont. also reached the 500-yard rushing mark four times, running for 533 yards in 1932, 533 yards in 1933, 586 yards in 1934, and 529 yards in 1936. Tim Biakabutuka of Montreal, Que. twice eclipsed the 500 yards, rushing for 718 yards in 1999 and 627 yards in 2000.

The Panthers enjoyed a promising 3-0 start to the season but have since lost nine of eleven games, including the last four. Carolina is at the bottom of the NFC South at 5-9 and four points back of a potential Wild Card postseason berth.

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.